Bedding for nesting boxes is a crucial element of your chicken coop. Nest box bedding absorbs moisture, odors, and chicken poop. Additionally, bedding in nesting boxes keeps chickens warm and helps protect eggs from damage. Getting the right type benefits the health of your poultry birds.
There are many suitable materials to use for bedding. Some of the most common bedding types for chicken nesting boxes include wood shavings, shredded paper, hemp, and straw. Depending on your choice of bedding materials, you may have to change the blanket layer. Apart from the type of material, the cost is another factor when choosing nest box bedding.
Overview of the Top 7 Top Bedding for Chicken Nesting Boxes
It can be challenging to know the best type of bedding to buy for your birds. In this article, we have examined the top seven bedding materials for chicken nesting boxes. Our comprehensive and unbiased review looks at the pros and cons of each kind of bedding. This will help you make an informed decision when buying bedding to keep your hens warm, healthy, and happy.
Best Chicken Nesting Box Bedding
Let’s look in more detail at the best types of bedding you can buy to layer your chicken nesting boxes.
1. Chicken Nesting Pad Bedding
One of the best bedding you can buy is this pack by My Favorite Chicken. The economical pack of ten nesting pads keeps your coop smelling great. The aspen fiber pads have aromatic herbs and edible flowers and don’t contain any artificial chemicals. Each nest box liner measures 13” by 13” (33 by 33 cm)—ideal for laying in nesting boxes.
One of the excellent features of these nesting pads is their ease of use. You can shape the pads to fit the nesting box. It’s also easy for chickens to fluff up the pads before laying eggs. The thick pads help absorb moisture and keep your laying hens warm, dry, and healthy.
- Contains organic aromatic herbs and edible flowers
- No artificial color, scents, or preservatives
- Easy to place in nesting boxes
- Suitable for laying hens and young chicks
- Easy to collect eggs
- Only ten pads in a pack, so they can become expensive
2. Petmate Precision Chicken Nesting Pads
These chicken nesting pads by Petmate are thick, absorbent, and provide a comfortable bed for your hens. The soft nest box pads are made from wood shavings and will cut down on smells and dampness in your coop. The cushioned nesting pads encourage hens to lay eggs, and eggs are easy to collect.
One benefit of this bedding is that the thick, soft pads hold more moisture than other bedding items. This means that you don’t have to change the wood shaving pads as frequently as others. Also, the natural bedding is fully biodegradable, so you can compost it after changing it.
- Flexible nesting material and easy for hens to modify
- The cushioned nesting surface results in fewer breakages
- Made from 100% biodegradable material
- The standard size of nesting boxes
- Value for money bedding option
- Some users say the nesting pads are too thin
3. MagJo Aspen Shaving Nesting Liners for Chickens
MagJo nesting pads for chicken coops are ideal for your laying hens. The nest box liners are made from aspen shavings and have kraft paper backing to help keep their shape. These nesting liners do a great job of collecting droppings and holding in moisture. Each nesting pad is the standard size for nesting boxes, making them easy to use in any coop.
Like most of the best types of bedding for chicken nesting boxes, these pads are made from aspen wood. This wood is better for hens than pine or cedar wood. An excellent feature of this bedding material is the kraft paper layer that helps the pad keep its shape.
- Thick pads create the ideal cushion for hens
- Highly absorbent material, keeping your hens healthy and comfortable
- Made from edible, biodegradable material
- Nesting pads hold their shape well
- The pads don’t compost well
4. Hemp Bedding for Chicken Nesting Boxes
Create the ideal nesting environment for your hens with this high-quality hemp bedding. Using hemp bedding in chicken nesting boxes has advantages over wood shavings. Hemp is highly absorbable and keeps hens warmer in the coop. The loose hemp bedding means that hens can create their ideal nest, and you can also use it for the running and roosting area of chicken coops.
One of the best features of this hen nest box bedding is that it doesn’t create much dust. The absorbent materials hold in moisture and prevent droppings from creating a mess in the coop. If you have several chickens, this large 33 lb. (14 kg) bag makes this a cost-friendly nesting option.
- Made from Eco-friendly and sustainable hemp fiber
- Highly absorbent nesting material
- Use for bedding in chicken coops and other animals
- Excellent natural odor control
- Easy to compost
- Can be difficult to clean from nesting boxes
5. Aspen Nest Box Bedding for Chickens
This bedding material for chicken nesting boxes is loose aspen shavings that create a comfortable and clean environment for your hens. The specially-formulated material is dust-free and ideal for nesting and running areas in your coop. Additionally, the kiln-dried aspen shavings are exceedingly absorbent, meaning you don’t have to change the bedding so often.
One of the advantages of this bedding material is it’s 100% natural and biodegradable. After clearing out the coop, you can compost the shavings and chicken waste.
- Doesn’t contain any harmful additives or irritants
- Compostable and recyclable
- Highly absorbent kiln-dried shavings
- Large pack and excellent value for money
- Ninety-nine percent dust-free
- Shavings are relatively small, and the bedding is more suitable for smaller chickens
6. Standlee Hay Company Wheat or Barley Chopped Straw Bedding
Standlee produces high-quality bedding hay that is suitable for nesting boxes. Hay or straw has some advantages over aspen as it’s easier to handle, clean, and more cost-effective. This nest box bedding is made from wheat and barley straw. Because there are no artificial additives and it’s weed-free, you can easily compost the bedding straw.
Using cut straw for nesting and bedding is easy to clean. You can easily lay down as much as you need to keep your chickens happy when laying eggs. Although hay doesn’t absorb as much moisture as wood shavings, it is easier to clean and suitable for large areas.
- Versatile bedding material, suitable for chickens and other animals
- 100% natural and biodegradable
- Minimal waste
- Cost-friendly bedding for nesting boxes
- Straw and hay can create some dust
7. RentACoop Hemp Bedding for Chicken Nesting Boxes
Hemp is becoming the bedding material of choice for using in chicken nesting boxes. Hemp bedding has excellent absorbent qualities and naturally kills unpleasant ammonia and chicken poop smells. This high-quality hemp product is produced without pesticides and is 100% percent natural. The hemp fibers also have superb insulation properties to keep chickens warm and comfortable while nesting or brooding.
One reason hemp bedding is ideal for chicken coops is that it doesn’t create any dust. Also, the large pack is cost-effective if you need to lay bedding over a large area. This bedding is also suitable for young chicks to absorb waste and droppings.
- One of the best bedding materials to eliminate odors and absorb waste
- Easy to spread to create the depth of bedding you require
- Sourced from natural plant materials and no pesticides
- Highly absorbent
- High cost
How to Choose Bedding for Your Nesting Boxes
Chicken nesting boxes require high-quality bedding. Using soft and comfortable bedding encourages hens to lay eggs in the same place. Also, bedding for nesting boxes must be absorbent to prevent contamination and bad smells in the chicken coop.
How can you choose the ideal bedding for chicken nesting boxes? The choice usually comes down to the type of material for laying in nesting boxes.
Here are some handy tips on which kind of material is best for your coop:
- Wood shavings—Aspen is a popular choice for loose bedding material or chicken nesting pads. The wood shavings have excellent absorbent qualities and prevent odor issues in coops. You should always choose dust-free wood shavings to avoid poultry respiratory problems.
- Hemp—Plant-based bedding such as hemp is ideal for nesting boxes. Hemp has better absorbent properties than wood shavings, and it keeps smells to a minimum. Additionally, hemp decomposes faster in compost.
- Straw—Using straw in nesting boxes is excellent because it keeps chickens warm and comfortable. Wheat straw is the most popular choice for nesting boxes. However, barley and oat straw are also excellent.
- Shredded paper—Some chicken owners shred paper to use in chicken nesting boxes. Shredded paper is warm, soft, and absorbent. It can also be very cost-effective. However, you can’t always guarantee that the paper is free from potentially harmful chemicals.
Laying Bedding in Poultry Nesting Boxes
Nest liners are the easiest method of laying bedding in chicken nesting boxes. The best nesting pads are the standard size of nesting boxes and keep their shape. However, hens can also fluff up the bedding into a comfortable place to lay eggs. It’s straightforward to swap the liner for a new one when changing the bedding material.
You can also buy loose bedding material that is wood shavings, straw, or hemp fiber to lay in nesting boxes. All you need to do is spread out a layer of bedding in the nest boxes. Compared to nesting pads, loose bedding material takes more work than liners.
How Often Should You Change Bedding in Chicken Nesting Boxes
Most chicken owners recommend changing bedding in nesting boxes once a week. However, depending on the number of chickens you have, you may need to change the bedding more frequently. If you want to change bedding less often, you can use a glove or small shovel to remove any poop, making the bedding last longer.
Bedding for Chicken Nesting Boxes — In Conclusion
Soft, warm, absorbent bedding in chicken nesting boxes is vital for the health and well-being of your hens. Happy chickens lay more eggs, and the right bedding material keeps nesting areas clean and the eggs safe.
From all the products in this review of bedding for chicken nesting boxes, our top recommendation is chicken nesting pads by My Favorite Chicken. These pads are easy to use, and hens love them. What’s more, the nest box liners come with natural aromatic herbs and edible flowers to keep your coop smelling fresh and clean.